|Location||Payette National Forest
Adams & Valley counties,
|Nearest city||McCall - 8 mi (13 km)
Boise - 115 mi (185 km)
Lewiston - 160 mi (260 km)
|Vertical||1,800 ft (550 m)|
|Top elevation||7,640 ft (2,330 m)|
|Base elevation||5,840 ft (1,780 m)
6,000 ft (1,830 m)
main base area
|Skiable area||1,500 acres (6.1 km2)|
- 20% easiest
- 50% more difficult
- 30% most difficult
2.0 mi (3.2 km)
|Lift system||5 chairlifts
- 1 hi-speed quad
- 4 fixed-grip triples
|Lift capacity||7,900 / hour|
|Snowfall||300–350 in (760–890 cm)|
Brundage Mountain Resort is an alpine ski area in the western United States, located in west central Idaho in the Payette National Forest. Brundage first opened 55 years ago in November 1961 and is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of McCall, a twenty-minute drive in average winter conditions.
The summit elevation of Brundage is 7,640 feet (2,330 m) above sea level, with an overall vertical drop of 1,800 feet (550 m). Five chairlifts serve the 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of primarily west-facing terrain, overlooking New Meadows, Adams County, and past the Snake River into eastern Oregon. The area's annual snowfall is 300–350 inches (760–890 cm). The summit of Brundage Mountain straddles the county line with Valley County to the east, in which McCall lies.
Brundage also offers backcountry powder skiing on 19,000 acres (77 km2) of terrain north of the lift-served ski area, serviced by snow cats. Half-day, full-day, and two-day trips are available to areas including Granite Mountain at 8,478 ft (2,584 m) and Slab Mountain at 8,225 feet (2,507 m). The two-day trip spends the night in a mountain yurt. These areas are among the highest average snowfalls in the state.
Brundage is accessed from State Highway 55 via the turnoff to Goose Lake Road, four miles (6 km) west of central McCall. Goose Lake Road climbs slightly over 1000 vertical feet (305 m) in four miles (6 km) when it diverts to the ski area's parking lot, at an elevation of just over 6,000 feet (1,830 m).
During the summer months, Brundage has chairlift-served mountain biking on over 20 miles (32 km) of specially built single-track trails.
In the late 1950s, alpine skiers in the McCall area had just the Little Ski Hill, with its modest 405-foot (123 m) vertical drop. Bogus Basin near Boise was over three hours away (in good conditions) by vehicle, and Sun Valley was considerably farther. One of these McCall skiers was Boise agribusiness tycoon J.R. Simplot (1909–2008), who had a vacation home on Payette Lake.
Financed by Simplot, the Brundage Mountain project took shape under the guidance of longtime McCall resident, Warren Brown (1912–2000) and ski legend Corey Engen (1916–2006). A former Olympian and instructor at the Little Ski Hill, Engen laid out the trails on the mountain during the summer of 1961. Favorable snowfall allowed Brundage to open on Thanksgiving on November 23, with a double chairlift, T-bar, and a rope tow. The lift tickets were priced at a then-lofty five dollars, similar to Sun Valley's rates; Engen would stay on as resort manager until 1970.
A second double chairlift, Brundage Creek, was added in 1976, in parallel with the original Pioneer. The Centennial triple chairlift was added in 1990 to the southern edge of the terrain, which increased the area's terrain by 30% and added 200 feet (60 m) of vertical drop by lowering the base. The Easy Street chairlift was installed at the beginner area in 1994, adding a lower parking lot at its base. The parallel double chairlifts were replaced in the summer of 1997 by a single high-speed detachable quad, the Blue Bird Express, which ascended to the summit in a rapid 7 minutes.
In April 2006, the J.R. Simplot Company sold its 50% interest in Brundage Mountain to the ski area's long-time co-owner, the DeBoer family. (Diane (Brown) DeBoer is the daughter of co-founder Warren Brown.) That August, a long-anticipated land trade with U.S. Forest Service was completed. It gave Brundage Mountain the ownership of 388 acres (157.0 ha) around its base area, allowing the opportunity for future resort development. In return, the USFS gained important private in-holdings in the Payette National Forest.
In 2007, Brundage invested more than $3 million to install two new fixed-grip triple chairlifts, Lakeview and The Bear. The Lakeview lift opened up 160 acres (0.6 km2) of south-facing terrain, with sweeping views of Payette Lake, McCall, and Valley County. The Bear connects the Centennial base area to a ridge above the main base area. A platter lift which served the expert Race Course and easier runs was removed. A small lodge, The Bear Den, was added at the top of the lift. Excluding the Easy Street chair, total uphill capacity for the area was increased from 3,100 to 6,700 riders per hour.
Future expansion plans at Brundage Mountain include a chairlift to the north, serving the 7,803-foot (2,378 m) summit of Sargent's Mountain (formerly known as "Brundage Mountain"). The new chair will open new expert terrain and reach 163 feet (50 m) higher than the present summit, the top of the Blue Bird Express quad.
The owners of Brundage Mountain have also received approval from Adams County for a PUD on the private land in the base area. That will allow for future construction of ski-in/ski-out lodging and expanded base area facilities.
|hi-speed quad||1,556 ft (474 m)||7 min||1800||1997||two doubles
|Centennial||triple||1,638 ft (499 m)||13 min||1300||1990||new
|Lakeview||triple||816 ft (249 m)||8 min||1800||2007|
|The Bear||triple||622 ft (190 m)||6 min||1800||2007|
|Easy Street||triple||90 ft (27 m)||3 min||1200||1994|
- The mountain bluebird is the state bird of Idaho
- Idaho celebrated its centennial of statehood in 1990
- Patty Boydstun-Hovdey - World Cup and Olympic alpine racer
- Idaho Dept. of Water Resources - precipitation map
- Brundage.com - about - history - accessed 2009-08-09
- "Brundage will expand skiing". Idahonian. Moscow. April 14, 1990. p. 5E.
- "Ski resort announces expansion". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. March 9, 1994. p. B5.
- First Tracks Online.com DeBoer acquires full ownership of Idaho ski area - 2006-02-28
- First Tracks Online.com - Idaho ski resort poised to expand - 2006-08-07
- "National alpine ski titles to Palmer, Patty Boydstun". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. March 15, 1970. p. 3-sports.
- FIS-ski.com - Patty Boydstun - accessed 2012-03-24
- idahoptv.org - Hometown Hills - Little Ski Hill - accessed 2012-03-24